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Winter Wander 2023 Memories

Winter Wander 2023 Memories

Winter Wander 2023 results

Now that the snowflakes have settled from this year’s Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt, I’d like to thank the 128 teams of West Seattle Wanderers who sneered at the rain and rejoiced in the sun to embrace the challenge.

Over the course of the 10 days, players scouted out 15 local businesses and 10 decorated homes to snap and submit 733 selfies! Altogether, Wanderers racked up 1,407 entries into the prize bag drawing.

Prize donations from local businesses filled four duffle bags with approximately $200 worth of merchandise in each one. The three lucky teams to win the duffles by means of random drawing are: Team Murray, Tata Tochter Time, and Puzzling Pete.

Many teams donated to the local food bank and Toys for Tots to earn extra entries into the prize drawing.

The $100 Grand Prize went to Paxton Phillips for earning the highest number of entries. He accumulated 81 points by solving all 25 clues, submitting a team selfie, and donating 23 cans of food.

This was the fourth year for the Winter Wander Scavenger Hunt. REALTOR® and owner of Just in Case, LLC, Alice Kuder, is the originator and orchestrator of this free annual event. She hopes it is already becoming a West Seattle holiday tradition for all community members to anticipate and enjoy. Winter Wander 2024 will run from December 6-15.

Many thanks to the volunteers who helped make Winter Wander a reality, including Randy Winn, Shelley Barouh, Dora-Faye Hendricks, Malu Santos, Robert Peckyno, Alyssa Granlund, Mic Christian, Laura Berkowitz, Nathan Rasmussen, Pam Phillips and the many community members who hosted yard signs in their front yards.

Following is a list of the 15 local businesses who enthusiastically participated in Winter Wander 2023 and the associated clues.

How many did you solve?

Clue: Feathered flyers daily roam, for carbs and coffee at this home

Solution: Birdhouse Coffee

Clue: Shop online, shop in store, consign your goods for sports galore

Solution: Second Gear Sports

Clue: Fine French pastry you will see at this Junction patisserie

Solution: Panterelli Patisserie

Clue: Surfing and cycling never stop at West Seattle’s oldest bike shop

Solution: Alki Bike and Board

Clue: We shall bake with gluten no more, at the sign of the aerial pinafore

Solution: Flying Apron Bakery and Cafe

Clue: Your morning drink, we will prepare, no need to stop and brush your hair

Solution: Bedhead Coffee

Clue: This Junction restaurant is sure to please, its haute cuisine is classic Lebanese

Solution: Phoenecia

Clue: If you don’t like your flab, and you want to get fit, then our awesome lab, is the place you should hit.

Solution: HIIT Lab

Clue: Looking to sell? Looking to buy? Her groovy clothes, are hip and fly

Solution: Funky Jane’s Consignment

Clue: Whether you’re a lefty or not, these guys will cut your hair right.

Solution: Southpaw Barber Shop

Clue: Roses are red, violets are blue, the lights on our cars are red and blue, too

Solution: SW Precinct, SPD

Clue: If you’re going round in circles, and you don’t have time to think, those funny shoes should clue you in, you’re at the  _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _

Solution: Southgate Roller Rink

Clue: Work at your own pace in our flexible office space

Solution: West Seattle Co-Working

Clue: For food and drink, when you want to go out, find the sign with the bird and umlaut

Solution:  Locol Kitchen and Bar

Clue: If on cider you are focused, head to Alki to the  _ _ _ _ _ _

Solution: Locust Cider

two women in front of a decorated house across from the old fire station on 35th Ave SW
A “Single” Christmas

A “Single” Christmas

There is no doubt about it. Christmas for a single adult (i.e. one who is not in a committed relationship) with no kids is vastly different than Christmas for other adults. Not better or worse, just different.

In my case, I am single and childless by choice, as well as by circumstance, so my perspective is different than someone who longs to be a spouse and/or parent. In some ways, I feel I have the best of both worlds. As an aunt, I have the option, rather than the obligation of being around children at Christmastime. I am able to control the pace of my holiday activity, keeping it as simple or hectic as I choose.

I suspect I was a late bloomer when it comes to figuring out how to enjoy the holidays. For years, I focused on the holiDAY, December 25th. (You will note that I am not attempting to be politically correct here. I celebrate Christmas, so that is my point of reference.) I eventually realized that that mindset created tremendous pressure for Christmas day to be perfect, which it rarely was. When I shifted my focus to the variety of fun events leading up to Christmas, I enjoyed the entire season rather than just a day.

Since I have a December birthday, celebrating it with friends and family is part of the holiday tradition for me.

Other local events I look forward to each year are the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition; the Argosy Christmas Ships; various Santa breakfasts; ACT Theater production of A Christmas Carol; the carousel at Westlake Center; the Snow Train to Leavenworth, and; our family Christmas Eve gathering. With all these heart-warming events, our family Christmas day gathering comes as a capstone, rather than the central focus.

I certainly feel less emphasis on gift-giving as a single person, and the gifts I do give are more often “experience” gifts such as event tickets. This is especially true with my nieces and nephews. They get so many gifts from grandparents, parents, and Santa that I think many get lost in the shuffle. As much as children might want to see lots of presents under the tree, I do believe there is a saturation point, after which they become desensitized.

Giving “experience” gifts also fits with my personal values around trying to live green.

What about you? What holiday traditions do you enjoy most? If you are single, do you feel it affects your enjoyment of the holidays one way or the other?

However you celebrate, I hope you experience the joy and peace that is available to us all.

Happy New Year’s Eve, West Seattle!

Happy New Year’s Eve, West Seattle!

My great nephew, Cooper. His first New Year!
Here we are, counting down the hours until another new year begins. There is no denying that this has been a challenging year in many ways for many people. The promise of a new beginning provides hope and often, relief, which is probably why most of us are so ready to celebrate the occasion.

This blog, Wonders in Alice Land, is a new beginning for me. For the past 5 years I have published a West Seattle real estate blog under the title “Alice is the Key,” but the scope was very limited. I decided to start fresh with a new, more inclusive format that allows me to include posts and pages about other facets of life that are important to me. That’s why the subtitle of this blog is “Living Single, Living Green and Living the Law of Attraction.”

I’ve been using the last few days of 2011 to work on making this blog and website match the vision I have for it. It is a daunting task and I’m far from completing it. I’d love to hear your comments and suggestions. What do you think of it so far? What else would you like to see included in this blog/website? Do you have any other blogs and/or websites you like that address similar themes?

If you’d like to follow me, the address to add to your RSS reader is www.WondersInAliceLand.com/feed/

I am working on adding easy/easier ways for you to follow via e-mail, but my technical knowledge — though increasing daily — is limited.

Thanks for reading.

Happy New Year, Happy New Beginnings!

From collecting to sorting to distributing

From collecting to sorting to distributing

The toys have all been donated and collected, now come the tasks of sorting and distributing.

I am humbled by the thought of 3 Marines taking on this staggering responsibility. So many boys and girls will benefit from their generous spirits, having very little idea of all that is involved in helping them find some joy this holiday season.

Here are some photos I took at the Toys for Tots distribution warehouse a few days ago. This only shows a portion of what was already there and many more truck loads have come in since then.

The two Marines pictured are Staff Sgt. Chris Apgar and Cpl. Stephanie Coverdale.

Christmas Trees: living green for the holidays

Christmas Trees: living green for the holidays

When it comes to decorating for the holidays, nothing says “Christmas” to me like a traditional tree. I love the lights and the ornaments and the smell.

I have a tiny little house, so some years I have opted to put up a Christmas tree and some years I haven’t. In the past, it often depended on how much furniture I had and how many dogs were living with me.

About a dozen years ago, I concluded that buying an artificial tree was a good way to further my goal of living green. They look so real that it seemed like a sensible, economical, earth-friendly thing to do, and I didn’t have to struggle with getting it home from the tree lot. So I bought a 7′ artificial tree when I was renting my loft apartment. Unfortunately, the house I bought in West Seattle the following year has 6.5′ ceilings.

I decided to give the tree to charity, only to discover that most charities wouldn’t take it. So much for being earth-friendly. I can just picture landfills overflowing with artificial Christmas trees.

I hadn’t decided what to do this year until I was shopping at Home Depot and saw that they had 3′ tall living Christmas trees (i.e. potted in soil) for $15! And some were even Colorado Blue Spruce! (I love the way spruce tree branches show off the ornaments.) So I bought one. Hopefully I can keep it alive through the holidays and transition it back outside to plant in my yard in the spring.

What about you? How do you feel about Christmas trees?

Here’s a picture of mine, all dolled up and glowing.

My living Christmas tree

And here’s a closer look at the Angel on top. My mother hand-stitched it and gave it to me as a birthday gift many years ago.

My mother's handiwork.